Viewing page 17 of 35

is being initiated by certain Negro petty-bourgeois nationalist groups in London, Paris, and the U. S. A., with the help and leadership of certain Negro renegades from Communism. Foremost among these latter is the renegade Padmore, who is undoubtedly the ideological head of the whole movement. The chief spokesman for this plan among American Negroes is none other than William N. Jones of the Baltimore Afro-American, our erstwhile "fellow traveler" during the 1932 Presidential Election Campaign. Undoubtedly Mr. Jones found the program of revolutionary struggle advocated by the Communist Party too rocky a road for his wavering petty-bourgeois feet. In his quest for an "easier way", he found a guide in the renegade Padmore.

Mr. Jones, it will be remembered, has just returned from a "good will mission" to Liberia. In conversation with Liberian government officials during his stay there, the basis of a plan for the "assistance" of Liberia by the Negro people in the U. S. A. and other parts of the world was worked out. Returning from Liberia via London, Mr. Jones was drawn into conference with the above-mentioned groups and the plan was further developed and rounded out.

Let us briefly review the situation in Liberia in order to get a clear idea of the counter-revolutionary nature of the proposed plan.  The so-called Independent Republic of Liberia has long been a virtual colony of United States imperialism. American imperialism, represented chiefly by Harvey Firestone interests, completely dominates the main economic and financial resources of the country. The inhabitants of Liberia can be divided into two main groups: (1) the indigenous population numbering about 2,000,000 and composed of various tribes, and (2) about 20,000 Americo-Liberians, Negroes who are descendants of American ex-slaves. These settled in the country during the early days of colonization. This latter group comprises the native

30

bourgeois and intellectual classes, chiefly occupied as trading capitalists, plantation owners, and government officials. This Americanized Black bourgeoisie in alliance with the native chiefs has set itself up as an oligarchy, imposing its will upon the native population. Its government at Monrovia, represented at present by President Barclay, acts as policeman for the interests of American imperialism and the Harvey Firestone Corporation in the country.

Although American finance capital long ago invaded Liberia, its economic and political grip upon the Liberian people was finally clinched through the agreement between the Liberian government and Harvey Firestone Corp., concluded in 1925. By the terms of this robber agreement, Liberia was definitely reduced to a vassal State of Wall Street imperialism. The terms of this agreement were as follows: (1) The Firestone Corp. secured a concession of 1,000,000 acres of rubber-producing land. This land, which will produce a crop of 250,000 tons of rubber per year, was leased for the ridiculous price of 6 cents an acre. (2) The Firestone Corp., through its agent, the American Finance Corp., of New York City, forced a loan of $5,000,000 upon the Liberian people at the rate of 7 per cent interest. (3) The agreement further stipulated, as security for this loan, that the control of customs as well as the internal revenues of the country be placed in the hands of an American Financial Advisor. This Advisor was to control the disbursements of the loan, of which according to the terms, half was to be expended for the construction of railways, motor roads, improvement of the harbor, etc. (public works). Of course, this provision has as its primary purpose to facilitate the imperialistic exploitation of the rubber monopoly by Harvey Firestone interests. The other half of this money was to be used to pay off "certain" outstanding public debts. These public debt were none other than the International Loan 

31
Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact transcribe@si.edu.